Jana Breding thinks he looks just fine.
“My mother would say something like that,’’ Parker Breding said with a chuckle.
Parker can laugh now. The bleeding has stopped and the swelling has gone down. All that shows is a scrape on his cheekbone.
The bull rider from Edgar paid with his face for the biggest rodeo victory of his young professional rodeo career.
Breding, who turned 20 on Wednesday, won the bull riding title at the recent Pendleton Round-Up, the same rodeo where his father Scott did the same in 1996.
Breding the son suffered a broken nose and split lip after being tossed into the chutes by a hard-spinning bull named Tight Rope in the first round. The flying dismount came after an outstanding 92-point ride.
“I had that bull a month ago in Billings,’’ said Parker of the Yellowstone River Roundup. “He was a lot nicer then. He had a heckuva day in Pendleton. He was a lot harder than he was in Billings.”
And Tight Rope taught Breding a valuable rodeo lesson about karma.
“I saw a friend get on him and struggle to get off,’’ continued the Joliet High School graduate. “I kind of gave him a hard time about it. Now I know why he had such a tough time.
“That bull doesn’t quit at eight seconds. He spins so fast and keeps going.”
Breding shrugged off the broken nose.
“It was not as a bad as I thought, “he said. “It did bleed all night long. And my nose doesn’t look that much more crooked than it did before.”
He followed with a solid 83-point ride in the final round last Saturday to win the event title by three points over Cheyne Olney.
“I was a little nervous,’’ Breding said of the final round. “Right before I nodded my head, I took a deep breath and said to myself, ‘I can do this.’ Then I just tried to stay with the basics.”
And while the $10,182 he won was nice, Breding got something even better after leaving the arena: Respect from his peers.
“I had a bunch of guys come up to me and said that ride was every bit of 92 points,’’ he recalled of the behind-the-chutes conversation. “That made me feel real good. A win like that definitely builds confidence, knowing I had to work for it.”
He almost didn’t get to enjoy the win. The second dismount and subsequent victory lap provided their own shaky moments.
“That second bull, I landed on my back and fell underneath him,’’ said Breding. “I was lucky he didn’t get me.
“For the victory lap, they had three different horses. The little horse, he was just nuts. I didn’t want him. So what happens? I got him. He was a handful around the arena. I about fell off.”
The Pendleton victory was a big milestone for a young cowboy trying to follow his father’s large bootprints. Scott Breding is considered one of Montana’s top bull riders, having qualified for both the National Finals Rodeo and Professional Bull Riders World Finals. He is also a former Northern Rodeo Association champion and the 1985 PRCA bull riding rookie of the year.
Parker Breding has jumped to 25th in the PRCA world standings and is second in the rookie bull riding standings with $36,922 won for 2012.
“I wanted to achieve all of the things he did and I’ve fallen short,’’ said Parker Breding, listing off his goals.
“It was cool to finish this one.”